Sure, you're bound to find a wicked 'wich or two on the menu at your favorite sandwich spot. (You might even catch me eating one when I'm visiting my wife's hometown. It's just not a weekend in Philly without a hoagie!) But this lunch staple is easy to customize in a healthy direction. Here's how:
Plop 'em onto whole-grain bread and pile the veggies sky-high.
Avocado + grilled chicken + lettuce + tomato+ mustard + salt & pepper.
Bell, banana, or jalapeño peppers + cucumbers + tomato + red onion + provolone + oil & vinegar.
Meatballs + tomato sauce + sweet peppers + olives + spinach + Italian seasoning.
Consider the Meatball
And the low-sodium ham, for that matter. I wouldn't choose them for lunch every day, but they're not a diet disaster. Enjoy them with loads of fresh veggies.
Get Grilled or Roasted
Meat prepped that way beats a processed cold cut. (I'd choose roast beef over salami any day.) Chicken and turkey are my go-tos.
Go With the Grains
I always opt for whole-grain bread. It's packed with fiber, which helps you feel full. Fiber's also been linked to lowered cholesterol.
Give Leaves Some Love
Green means go! Lettuce is great; spinach is even better. Whichever greens you choose, get a double order.
My calorie-cutting trick? I opt for meat or cheese — not both. Most cheeses are on a par, nutritionally, so get your favorite and stick to two slices.
When it comes to veggies, I say the more, the merrier — heck, just throw a whole salad on there. (So what if you need a fork to eat it?)
Dress It Up
Good news: A spoonful of mayo is OK! Also on my yes list: oil, vinegar, and all kinds of mustard.
Blast the Heat
Hot peppers add tons of flavor for not a lot of cals. But pickling can sneak in sodium, so keep it to just one kind.
This story originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.